More Opinion by The Springboard

THE UPRISING OF THE AMERICAN PARTY "Clearly the voters are engaged right now, at least for sure on the republican side, and what they have concluded is that the republican party has not done their job. Thus, Donald Trump gets their vote."

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

CUT CEO PAY, NOT WORKERS

I'm not going to say that there aren't times when job cuts are a necessity. Labor is costly to any business, even if that labor is also at the heart of what drives that business forward—you need people to execute the ideas and satisfy the customers. And I'll even concede that a recent question that was posed on CNBC.COM regarding whether or not U.S. companies should follow along with a trend in Germany where companies there are opting to reduce worker hours rather than cut jobs altogether is certainly a better choice, perhaps, than tossing workers out on their hindquarters. People who have no work, and consequently not much money to spend will not be any help to a lagging economy, especially if the economy is largely driven by consumerism such as ours is.

But here's one thing I don't hear that I think might also help to ease the strain a bit as well. That is; reducing CEO compensation and executive pay packages. To me, this would seem to be a huge and behemoth area where we could make some very deep and serious cuts. It's great to earn multi-million dollar salaries and bonus packages when the economy is booming and the company's bottom line is bursting with new money. But if that's not the case, then all employees need to be considered when cuts are to be made.

CEO's are employees.

The bottom rung of the ladder is typically the first one who gets affected, and rarely, if ever, does the top give back some of its fruits. I think rather than cut back hours, or cut jobs, some of these CEO's need to use some of their business sense and make tougher choices to save jobs. Streamline the business first. Cut their own exorbitant salaries and bonuses first. Then look to the bottom where the impact of cuts will be hardest felt. Granted, the CEO's duty is not to the workers, necessarily, but to the shareholders. Still, shareholders will not receive the real value of the investment they've made if the side of the company (the workers) who will execute the real core of the business are not happy, or if they feel slighted. And shouldn't we all understand as shareholders that our stock prices will not rise, and the goods our companies sell will not be sold if everyone is standing in the bread line rather than on the production line?

The American worker is not the bad guy.

READ MORE BY SPRINGBOARD:

American Workers Should Not Get The Shaft
The Tony Hayward Fail

USA Made Clothing by All American Clothing

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Lincoln MKZ Hybrid Will Not Be More


Gas prices are still not exactly cheap, especially if you still happen to be driving a larger vehicle that sucks up 20 or less miles per gallon or so. But we're certainly a long way from the prospect of potentially seeing $5 per gallon. Still, oil is something I think we can all agree on that we need to reduce our dependence on. Not just for reasons of national security, but also for the environment. That's why hybrid cars, which nearly every automaker now offers, are something to think about when you are in the process of considering your next automobile purchase.

I've said before that if we truly want hybrid cars to have a real shot, and if we want them to truly demonstrate what the demand for these cars are, we are going to have to offer them without the premium price that usually goes along with them. Especially in an economy such as we are in right now, people who are in a position to buy a new car very much do take into consideration the very much higher prices attached to these hybrid cars. On most models that premium is about $8,000-$12,000. Few people want to shell out more money than they have to when there's still quite a lot of shaky ground in the economy. Even if it's likely that over the long run, the additional miles per gallon may well pay for the premium in having to buy less gas overall.

That's why I'm happy to hear Ford will make its Lincoln MKZ hybrid sedan available without the extra cost. I say bravo zulu to Ford Motor Company for taking environmental concerns seriously, and for making an honest commitment to the reduction of oil usage, and improving fuel economy—which is what offering a model for the same price actually suggests they are doing. It's a much easier decision for one to make, "Do I buy the hybrid or the gas-powered version?" when the price tag for the two cars is exactly the same. And I'm inclined to believe Ford Motor Company has a hunch that without the price premium, most buyers will probably opt for the hybrid version.

This makes sense for another reason. Over time, the more demand there is for the hybrid technology, the less this technology will cost, and Ford will have a hand in increasing that demand and driving down that cost. Eventually, they may be able to offer similar choices in their cheaper models as that cost comes down. It's better than an incentive.

By the way, I should also point out this is just one more reason to own Ford stock. I've been recommending this as a buy for quite some time, and I think it is absolutely a buy.

Disclaimer: Jim Bauer currently owns shares in Ford Motor Company (F) stock.

MORE READING:


Monday, July 19, 2010

WHO'S GOT THE AMERICAN WORKER'S BACK?


Partisanship is something that really gets under my skin. To me, you can be a republican and agree with a democrat and vice versa. You can be against 99 out of 100 policies that Barack Obama supports, but still support one. Granted, partisanship is played out in exactly the same way on both sides of the aisle, so if George Bush were still the president you could put his name in place of Barack Obama's name and have the same argument. Democrats can support one out of 100 policies that Bush supports.

It's not even a tall order.

The latest debacle comes out of this whole debate as to whether or not we (the republicans) should allow more pork barrell spending by already out of control spending democrats in order to ensure that the hard working Americans who are currently unemployed—thanks to the still high rate of unemployment, which is thanks to the anti-business Obama administration and all of his democratic cronies—don't have their unemployment insurance benefits stopped.

Sure. Spending is a serious issue. It's way out of control. At some point in the very near future we are going to have to take drastic and serious measures to curtail spending at every turn. Even democrat Erskine Bowles, on the debt commission, has said we will have grave consequences if we do not do something soon. But not this very moment. Not on the backs of the American worker who is in need of his benefits right now. We can play politics later. But now is the time to give the unemployed worker at least his benefits.

The thing here is that of course the democrats want to make the republicans look bad by blaming them for the lack of benefits arriving in the mail. Even my democrat cousin snidely told me on the phone, "Yeah, how about your republicans on the workers?" So, the blame is landing squarely on the republicans so long as no benefits are coming. And yes. I don't think there is any disputing that there are things the democrats included in this bill that would turn republicans heads on the real underyling issue.

But the republicans are essentially doing exactly the same thing. That is, they are trying to make the democrats look bad by saying, "It's not our fault your benefits have stopped. The democrats are to blame for putting too much pork into the bill that would have allowed your benefits."

We have to put this all into the proper perspective. This is posturing. Spending is an issue now? After we've dished out trillions of dollars in bailout monies to AIG? To Citibank? To General Motors? We want to talk about reigning in spending now? Let me just point out that the amount of money, pork included, we're talking about literally pales in comparison to the amount of money we've already laid out. And, add in the thought that there is still hundreds of billions of dollars of already approved, unspent stimulus dollars the president said we could spend any way we want to—we could get this done. We could get these benefits done.

It's all partisan politics. It's game playing. It's setting the stage for issues to come to the fore for the mid-term elections. It's a game that aims to shift anger at the democrats to anger at the republicans.

The republicans are letting the democrats get away with it.

The fact is that these folks who recieve unemployment benefits are the very same people who worked and paid taxes to pay for the bailout. They paid taxes into the federal system that will pay for the extension of benefits. They paid the taxes which paid for people to get a credit to buy a new car, or buy their first home. They are out of work largely not by their own design, but rather as a result of the shenanigans of their government and some of the largest corporations in the world.

The last people that should be left out are them. The hard-working, tax paying American worker who is right now out of work. The last people who should be allowing this are the republican party—truly the party of the American worker thanks to its pro-business stance. Voting against this bill is a vote against the American worker for whatever reason.

As for the partisanship? Well, it's just one more example that on either side, democrat or republican, they really have no clue what the average American is having to go through right now. And besides that, think about how much debate went into deciding over the last pay raises that went through Congress and the Senate. It was a very quick vote with not much debate at all, if any at all. Spending wasn't an issue there, was it?

At every turn the American worker is simply being told, "You're going to have to suck it up." It looks to me right now that there is no one who has the American worker's back. Not the democrats. And sadly, not the republicans either.


More great reading:
American Workers Should Not Get The Shaft
It happens now and again that I find myself on the opposite side of the fence of fellow republicans. In the case of the question of whether or not we should be extending unemployment benefits, I'm on the side of the fence that says we most certainly should. With unemployment numbers still around 9.5%, there are a lot of people who are looking for work. In the meantime, getting a small pittance, which is essentially what unemployment benefits are, is helpful to simply stay above water as much as possible...
Our Liar-in-Chief is at it Again!
I just watched King Teleprompter's latest Rose Garden speech in which he continued to show his ignorance and he spewed even more of his all-too-common lies. In fact, he was accompanied by three "average" Americans who are unemployed and have been searching, fruitlessly, for a new job...

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Build The Fence


It's not that I'm anti-social. Well, at least I'm not entirely anti-social. But the fact is that I do value my privacy very much.


My wife and I have lived in our current house for the past three years, and on the south side there is no privacy fence. We have one on the north side that was there when we moved in. I'm not sure exactly why the previous owners never put it up on both sides. But there you have it. That's the way it is.


The thing is I'd very much like to complete the fence on the south side of the house. But it's a bit of a delicate thing, is it not? I mean, I don't want to give the impression to the neighbors that we don't like them. I don't want to be considered the jerk on the block. At the same time I have to admit to not really enjoying the full potential of my own backyard. It's not like we live in a community where the houses are far apart. In our area, houses are fairly closely spaced.


And the fact is they have kids. Not that I have anything against kids. But they have 4 of them, and their mother is over there all the time. She's a bit of a talker, and you know, sometimes I just have things to do. Sometimes I don't want to talk. Sometimes I don't want to be bothered by their kids.


Time is precious. So is privacy. But how do you put up a privacy fence without offending anyone? I've thought about mentioning that we'd like to put one up. I've thought about asking if they'd mind. I've thought about telling them it's not to avoid them (even though it partly is). Still, I fear it may well be construed in a bad way.


Then again, perhaps they'd love to have a fence there as well.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Why Such A Lack Of Concern Over Black Panthers?

I don't want to see race relations in this country get any worse than they may be already. Still, I have to question why on earth the justice department would dismiss the case of the Black Panthers standing outside a polling area during the last presidential election with sticks in their hands? Not enough evidence, they said? It looks clear to me, watching the video, that there was a clear intent to invoke fear in potential white voters headed to the polls. One of the men apparently even made the comment, "Finally the white man will know what it feels like to be ruled by the black man."

That's about as racist a statement as one can be, right?

The Adams accusation notwithstanding—it's one hell of a revelation if it's true, is it not?

And imagine, for a moment, what the reaction would have been had this been two members of the Ku Klux Klan outside that polling area waving sticks at potential black voters who they assumed would probably vote for Obama. This would have opened wide a major case in this country, and perhaps would even have sparked riots or otherwise.

Let's just be sure in saying that such a thing would not have gone over well at all.

And you have to wonder as well just where the Obama administration is at with regard to race, or certainly where Eric Holder is with regard to race when you think about the Adams accusation and how quick President Obama was to react to a black professor when he was challenged by police outside his home.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

We Do Have Term Limits in the USA


Term limits. It's a thing I think most Americans would say they are for. No one really thinks we should necessarily have career politicians in our Congressional ranks. Certainly any one person having too much power is something that we all have great concern about—it's why we limit the number of terms a person can serve as president.

We don't want dictators. We want leaders.

Of course there's a lot more chatter these days about term limits. The whole third party movement thing is helping to fuel this. The fact that so many democrats are simply not listening to the American people is helping to fuel this. And while we're at it, let me just make myself clear that I am not suggesting that the vast majority of republicans necessarily have it right either. Their ears are slammed shut in many ways as well.

We're tired of the status quo. That much is clear. But here's my thing. We don't need Congress to come up with a bill that establishes term limits. This doesn't have to be a law. Because we already have term limits in the USA. It's called our vote.

Look, the fact is we have to hold our elected officials responsible for their actions, or their inactions for that matter. We cannot simply keep on voting these fools back in and then complain they've been there too long. If we don't like what these guys are doing, we send them home. We put in new faces. We change the landscape.

Part of the reason most of these guys don't deliver on their campaign promises, and part of the reason they albeit shut out the voice of the American people is because they have no fear of reprisal. They don't feel that the American people are going to kick them out of their offices.

If we're not satisfied with what our elected officials are doing, rather than complain about it, I say we just vote them out. Two years. One shot. You get it right or you're out. That's your term limit. The American people will decide.

MORE BY SPRINGBOARD:

There Are No Rights For Illegal Immigrants


One person writes;

"I say all humans—and the operative word is humans—should be able to have access to education. Only through education can we help fix problems in our society. Out of state students are paying higher out of state tuition because they chose to leave their state. Most of the illegal immigrant students had no choice in the matter of entering the United States. I suggest you educate your readers and not cause further frustration amongst people."

This comment came at the heels of someone who made the suggestion that if you are an illegal immigrant, you should not have access to any benefits. A statement which I happen to agree with.

There is no question that we are all human on this planet. We all have certain rights. Those rights, of course, differ from country to country, and even change a little bit depending on the religious or social cultures. But we all most certainly do have basic human rights.

The question is not about whether or not we are human. The question is not whether or not we have rights. In the United States it is undeniable what our rights are, and what benefits we are entitled to enjoy. These are for United States citizens, however, and that's where we need to make the distinction. Everyone includes people who were either born in the United States, or who have legally come here.

The thing we have to keep in mind is that these people are here illegally. That's key. They have broken the law. Perhaps the word "criminal" is a bit harsh. If I speed and break the law, I don't consider myself a criminal. But clearly a law has been broken for which there is a consequence.

It is for this very reason that laws have been broken in order to get here that illegal immigrants entering our country have no entitlement to any benefits whatsoever, which mind you, are paid for by hard-working American taxpayers. Education, to speak specifically on the argument made by the commenter, is paid for not only by hard-working American's taxes, but by American homeowners. The cost of education is already steep, and homeowners are taking it in the seat of their pants enough as it is. Now you want my taxes to cover the kids of illegal immigrants too?

Education is important. Every country should focus on education as the most basic foundation for its future successes. You need a country of citizens who are smart enough to advance your country in technology, medicine, productivity, and whatever else.

But that should be limited to your own legal citizens.

To do anything else would be akin to opening up the doors of every Wal-Mart in the country and declaring that everything in the stores is free. Maybe it's a ridiculous analogy. But why? Clearly there would be nothing left on the shelves. The stores would all be cleaned out. People would drive for miles to get to their nearest Wal-Mart and loot the stores unfettered.

Ridiculous? Yes. I'm definitely agreeing with that. Wal-Mart would never do that, and the reason is pretty obvious. It doesn't make any damn sense.
But this is exactly the message we send to people who wish to cross our borders illegally. Come on over. Come on in. Everything in America is free for the taking. We, the hard-working people of America wish for you to come on across our borders, bring your family and children—hell, bring your grandparents too—and loot us. How you get here doesn't matter. What country you come from doesn't matter. Come by boat. Come by plane. Toss a ladder up against our border's walls and climb right on over, we may even help you get down on the other side by putting up our own ladder for you to climb down. It's going to be a great party and everyone is invited.

Well, everyone except for the Americans. They will have to work. There are taxes to be paid for all of these wonderful benefits that will be given away for free.

MORE OPINION BY SPRINGBOARD:

It's Not Just About Illegal Immigration Anymore
"The situation on our borders with Mexico is yet another glaring example of the absolute idiocy, and incompetence of the Obama administration. The president has now been given every reason to clamp down on illegal immigration, and especially to send a clear message to the Mexican drug cartels, that if they carry out their illegal activities on United States soil, we will act accordingly..."

Friday, July 2, 2010

Peggy West Says Arizona Doesn't Border Mexico



It's bad enough that Milwaukee County has been onboard with plans to boycott Arizona over this whole immigration law debate, something that definitely irks me in and of itself. But when Peggy West, a democrat who serves as a county supervisor for the 12th district, argued that Arizona is not a state that borders Mexico, it makes you raise your brow a little bit.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel columnist Jim Stingl gave her a pass by saying, "Lucky the rest of us never made a mistake." But the bigger problem here is that when you are arguing a bill, or making an argument for or against a bill, or making decisions as to whether or not you want to be for or against a bill, you ought be able to at least understand all of the aspects regarding the bill—or whether or not you want your county to do business with Arizona.

Like whether or not Arizona borders Mexico when the bill has to do with enforcing immigration law, which would be a greater issue for a border state than for a non-border state. Forget that no one at the top echelon even read the bill in the beginning before they commented on it, including the president himself—all democrats oddly enough.

Look, I can fully understand if someone has not looked at a map in a little while. Exactly where a particular state is might be a little bit elusive. Still, when it is as hot button a topic as the Arizona immigration bill is, and when it is something you are going to speak on, you should at least come to the podium informed. If you are going to be making decisions about anything regarding Arizona, in this particular case where Arizona is located is certainly a factor to consider.

Yes. Jim Stingle is right. We all have made mistakes. We all have misspoke. But when it comes to matters of importance, and when it comes to people in power to make decisions that influence our lives, it's not just about misspeaking. It's about not knowing what it is, exactly, that you are deciding on, nor the factors that should contribute to a good decision.

You're just governing then, by the seat of your pants and making guesses about things you know nothing about that ultimately affect us all.




Read On: